The UNESCO World Heritage City of Toledo is a must for anyone visiting central Spain. The main attractions are the Cathedral, Alcazar and Jewish quarter where two of Spain’s few remaining synagogues are found. Artistically, Toledo was the home of El Greco and you’ll find many of his works inside the city’s museums, galleries and churches. The most famous is his masterpieces ‘The Burial of Count Orgaz’ which is housed in the Iglesia de Santo Tomé.
Getting to Toledo
Places to Stay
Things to See & Do
Getting to Toledo
A selection of transport from Madrid to Toledo is available with many bus and train links daily as well as scheduled coach excursions and private tours with driver. There’s so much to see that if time permits it’s well worth spending a night here in one of the city’s hotels and dining on local specialities such as stewed partridge in one of the many quaint restaurants in Toledo. If you’re heading south after Madrid and have your own transport or driver it’s a good idea to stay in Toledo then head toward Andalucia via the Don Quijote windmills of Consuegra.
A History of Toledo
The city’s history can be traced way beyond the Romans but it was under the Roman Empire that Toletum was developed as a strategically important point standing in the geograpical centre of Roman Hispania. The Visigoths moved their capital here in the 6th century and the Moors later established Toledo as the Muslim capital of central Spain. In 1085 the city fell to Alfonso VI and the Vatican recognised Toledo as the seat of the Catholic Church in Spain.
For a period of time Toledo’s Christians, Jews and Muslims coexisted and the city became known as ‘the City of Three Cultures’ until 1492 when the fall of Granada to Fernando and Isabella (the Reyes Católicos or Catholic Monarchs) led to the expulsion of Jews and Muslims from Spain unless they converted to Christianity.
Today you can wander around the city’s tiny streets discovering the many attractions of Toledo which mark the fascinating history of Spain’s Imperial City. Nowhere else in Spain will you see so many buildings of interest within such a small area. And nowhere else in Spain are you more likely to get lost whilst wandering around them! But don’t worry, it’s only a small city and you’re never far from where you want to be.
Main Highlights of Toledo:
- Toledo Cathedral took over 250 years to build.
- The Alcazar is Toledo’s imposing fortress.
- Synagogues of Santa Maria La Blanca and El Tránsito.
- Church of Santo Tomé houses El Greco’s masterpiece, “El Entierro del Conde de Orgaz”.
- San Juan de Los Reyes had been the planned burial place of the Reyes Catolicos